At least 99 women raped in 3 months in the Great North of the Eastern DRC
Far from the media spotlight, women and even girls in North Kivu, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, are still being raped, in a corner baptized somberly: "the world capital of rape". (December 7, 2016). This
violence is committed both by militiamen and by "misplaced" elements of the Congolese army. We call on the judicial authorities to "investigate these facts in order to identify the perpetrators"
"The months of
September, October and November 2016 have been a real ordeal for the inhabitants of Butembo and its surroundings [where at least] 99 cases of rape have been recorded," told “Agence France Presse”.
figure corresponds (fits) to cases "documented" by AJP (platform of local associations including youth and women organizations, and representatives of various religious groups). For AJP "the reality is more alarming", many victims reluctant to be made known
by "shame or fear of seeing oneself stigmatized".
From September to November, the number of documented sexual violence - which had previously been around "more or less ten cases per month" - "systematically doubled
or tripled" in Butembo, a city of 1.1 million.
According to Civil Society, the victims are mostly between the ages of 12 and 17, assaulted by armed men with masked faces at night. The DRC was ravaged by two wars
between 1996 and 2003, the detonator of which were the provinces of North and South Kivu, which remain today torn by the violence of armed conflicts and militias.
The plight and drama of the thousands of women
raped in these conflicts have stirred the whole world through certain committed Congolese actors such as AJP, known for their struggle to restore their dignity, to fight impunity through law, Strengthening of women's leadership, motivating lawyers to build
peace through the implementation of alternative methods of conflict, involving women in the peace-building process and finding mechanisms for de-traumatization and Health of the victims and also by helping the victims to integrate into the communities and
their respective families.
In the Kivu provinces of Eastern DRC, the situation which had become relatively calm compared to previous years has abruptly deteriorated since September with the re-emergence of local
militias, especially around the mining areas. The army retaken control of the city in early November, but the population regularly reports attacks by these armed groups in the vicinity.